MercuryGO is Available for Georgia Drivers

Mercury Insurance recently announced that their drivers in Georgia can now use a usage-based insurance app called MercuryGO. The newly designed application incorporates plenty of tech-savvy features to help drivers improve their driving skills and overall safety on the road.

The app serves as a virtual driving coach and provides drivers with scores in the form of real-time feedback on how they drive.

The good news is you can get up to a 10 percent discount if you enroll for an auto insurance policy and use the app. As a MercuryGO user, you can get a 40 percent discount when you renew the policy. However, the discount amount depends on your driving score.

If you live in Georgia and have Mercury Insurance, here are the benefits of using MercuryGO.

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How to handle Atlanta rush-hour traffic

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If you live anywhere in the Atlanta area, you know how awful the traffic gets near the city. No ifs, ands or buts. It seems like it’s hardly safe to venture out on the roads any time from about 6:30 – 9am or 4:30 – 7pm, the peak rush-hour crunches. No matter how much you love Atlanta, it only takes sitting on 400 or 85 once to realize that you have to learn to accept how much Atlanta loves cars. 

It’s kind of scary to take a look at how much time Atlanta drivers spend stuck in traffic. We might not want to know that Atlanta’s ranked fourth-worst in the country and eighth-worst in the world for traffic (yikes – sorry to have to be the one to tell you.) 

With all the time that we spend dealing with traffic, what can we do to be safer during our lengthy and often very frustrating commutes? According to, one in four accidents occur during rush hour. The sheer number of cars, slow movement of traffic, and distractions all play a part in this statistic.

Since the congestion isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, here are some tips to survive the chaos that is Atlanta traffic.

Tips to survive Atlanta traffic.

1. Have the right car insurance.

First things first: you need to make sure that you’re protected financially in case you get into an accident. In which case, you would need your insurance. And besides, you’re legally required to have car insurance. (And if you want to save money on car insurance, we can help. Your Atlanta Insurance agent can shop your rates so you can compare coverages and pricing, and we make car insurance easy. Get started with your car insurance quotes with our online form or by calling us today.)

2. Keep calm.

Yes, traffic is frustrating. It can really raise your blood pressure when you look out your window and realize that you could walk faster than your car is moving. It’s important to stay relaxed and calm while you’re driving so that you don’t get distracted and lose your focus. Keeping a level head reduces the chances of an accident. Take a deep breath and try not to get upset by the actions of other drivers (even if they do cut you off.)

3. Plan for the traffic and give yourself lots of time to get to work if you’re driving during peak traffic hours in Atlanta.

Yes, it’s a drag to get up earlier, but giving yourself more time will really help you reduce your stress level while you’re commuting. It’s easier to handle traffic when you’re not worrying about getting to the office late. Traffic is one of those things that’s both predictable and unpredictable. You know when it will happen, but not how bad it will be. Some days are worse than others due to accidents or lane closures, but if you’ve got extra time you won’t be stressed about it.

4. Do not get distracted.

Phones are extremely tempting distractions. Resist it. Stay strong against the urge to check your phone, text, or even call anyone (and remember, Georgia passed a Hands-free Driving Law, so it’s illegal to hold or support a cell phone while you drive.) The same goes for food. It’s important to stay focused on the road, as even a momentary lapse of attention can lead to an accident. Eyes on the road. Remember, texting and driving can cause accidents. Not only can people get hurt, accidents can lead to your auto insurance rates going up…and you don’t want to be in that situation. 

5. Map a different way to get to work.

If you can figure out a new way to get to work that avoids the worst of the traffic, try it out and see how it goes. Maybe you’ll find that it’s a less stressful way to go, even if the distance is slightly longer. While your new path might not be as the crow flies, it may end up saving you some time if there’s less traffic. 

Be conscious of safety while you’re thinking about a new route. If there are any dangerous stretches of road, turns, or intersections that make you nervous, try to avoid them.

6. Increase the fun.

Huh? Commute? Fun? Yes. Believe it or not, they’re not mutually exclusive. Bring along your favorite music, podcast, or book on CD to help pass the time.  Your day will be much better if you have something you enjoy to cheer you up, and it’ll keep you calmer as you navigate the Atlanta traffic. Do something to make yourself happy.  

7. Make sure to take good care of your vehicle.

Choose a car that has strong safety ratings. You want a car that will protect you if you ever get into an accident. Make sure that you take good care of your car and keep it in good repair. Having something go wrong with your vehicle while you’re commuting could be extremely dangerous, especially where the brakes and gas are concerned.

8. Stick with the middle lane, but know where you have to get off.

Chill out in the middle lane on the highway. The right lane is usually stop-and-go because of merging and the left lane is used for passing, so neither of those are ideal. If you’ve got some distance to cover, stay in the middle.

Be aware of how close you’re getting to your exit. The more time you give yourself to change lanes to get off the highway, the less stressed you’ll be—and the safer you’ll be.

9. Be aware of when you’re driving.

The sun is not your friend when it’s shining right in your eyes. Commute time is at sunrise in the morning and sunset at night, so chances are you’ll get stuck driving with the sun in your eyes. So, get a pair of sunglasses to make it easier to see.

Also, condensation can be a major obstacle in the morning, when the temperature is cool but the day is starting to warm up. Make sure your defrosters work properly and clear the car of any condensation before embarking on your adventure.

10. Take extreme care when changing lanes.

Lane changes are a very hazardous thing. The chances of an accident are higher when you’re shifting into the next lane. Remember that your turn signals aren’t just there to look pretty—use them. Even if no one else on the highway uses them, use them. That way other drivers know what you’re going to do.

Be aware of any blind spots your vehicle has. There are usually spots at the rear corners where cars behind you can unintentionally hide, so be careful of those spots while you’re looking to see if it’s safe to change lanes.

11. Remember that you’re not the only driver on the road.

Well, if you were that would make the traffic a lot better. Be alert to what the cars around you are doing—rush hour makes people do strange things as they’re driving.

Make sure to give plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. If they have to brake suddenly, you’ll be able to stop safely and avoid a rear-end accident. Plus, if you were to get rear-ended you wouldn’t go flying into the car in front of you.

There are lots of things to love about Atlanta. Traffic is not one of them. These tips will help you make the commute more bearable and help keep you safer while you’re getting to and from work. The trick is to reduce your stress level as much as possible and to drive safely.

Need insurance? Great! We love insurance. Let us know how we can help you by giving us a call or filling out our quote form – we can get you a free quote for your auto or homeowners insurance!


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Why you should bike to work and how to stay safe while you do

Commuting to work can try anyone’s patience, especially with all of the road problems Atlanta has been facing lately. Atlanta traffic can be really awful at the best of times, and that traffic can be costly in terms of gas and car repairs. But we’ve got a solution to this problem that will help you be healthier and save money.

You can ride your bike to work.

The benefits of biking to work:

There are lots of reasons that biking to work is a good idea. Sometimes being on two wheels is just better than being on four. It’s not a bad idea to consider digging your bike out of the garage or storage room and dusting off your old helmet. Here are 4 reasons that you might want to bike to work.

1. Biking to work can save you money.

It’s true. Biking to work is more economical than driving. When you take your car to work, you face gas expenses (which go up the longer you have to sit in Atlanta traffic.) You burn through a lot of fuel when you’re crawling along.

You can also save money on parking costs. It’s hard to find parking in the city. And when you finally find that coveted parking spot, you might be dismayed at how much you have to pay for it. You might need to rent a space in a parking deck downtown, which gets extremely pricey. Even public parking lot costs add up after a while. Save yourself the trouble of trying to find a parking spot. And the trouble of having to pay for it.

You’ll also save money on car repairs and maintenance. If you give your car a much-needed rest, you’ll put less wear and tear on it.

2. Biking is better for the environment.

Have you ever been driving to work and noticed the haze of smog hanging over Atlanta? Air pollution is a huge problem, and cars are a major pollutant. Atlanta’s really in love with cars, meaning that tons of gross emissions and gasses are being pumped into the air. These emissions lead to smog, and smog makes it hard to breathe. Bikes are emission-free, and if you bike you’ll contribute to cleaner, safer air.

3. Biking is great for physical fitness.

It’s nice to get a workout in without having to go to the gym. Most of the US population lives within a five-mile radius of where they work, which by bike isn’t really that far. To do some quick math: if you bike at 10-12mph, you’ll get there in about half an hour. Not bad, considering that you get to exercise for close to the same amount of time that you’d be stuck in traffic. Biking is nice and healthy for your body, and you can set your own pace. There’s no need to be an Olympic cyclist on your way to work.

Stay safe while you’re biking to work.

If we’ve convinced you to try biking to work, it’s important that you stay safe. We’ve put together some safety tips to help you have a smooth ride to work.

1. Wear a helmet.

Seriously. Helmets are cool. Here are some things to keep in mind about your head gear:

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission even took the time to create standards to regulate helmet safety—that’s how important helmets are. So make sure your helmet has a fancy CPSC sticker or proof of approval from the CPSC. Your helmet should cover your forehead and you should always buckle up your straps.
  • To improve the effectiveness and life of your helmet, have a place to store your helmet. Don’t toss it around when it’s not on your head.
  • You can also make yourself more visible to drivers by putting reflective stickers on your helmet.
  • If you’re in a crash or if you have a fall, you may need to replace your helmet. It might have been damaged, so if you were to have another accident it might not do its job and protect you.

2. Try to stick to bike paths/routes as much as possible.

Map out a route that allows you to stay on bike paths. This will keep you safer than if you have to share your space with drivers.

3. Practice your path ahead of time.

Once you know the route you want to take, give it a try, preferably on the weekend. It’s best to be familiar with your route.

4. Learn the laws of the land.

You’re subject to the same rules of the road that drivers are. Follow the rules so that you lower your risk of a crash.

5. Brush up on your hand signals.

It’s important that motorists know what you’re planning to do. Know how to signal a turn or a stop, and get into the habit of using these signals.

6. Dress to impress.

First, wear bright colored clothing. Drivers can see you more easily if you’re wearing bright or reflective clothing. You can always bring a change of clothes to work.

Second, wear sneakers when you bike. Bring along your work shoes and stash your sneakers under your desk.

Third, don’t wear loose clothing or let the straps of your backpack fly around. You don’t want anything to get caught on your bike, as this could cause you to fall or spiral out of control.

7. Be aware of your surroundings.

That means keeping an eye on the cars around you. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure that they know what you’re planning. If you come to a busy intersection, hop off and walk your bike through it instead of riding. 

Also, look at the road ahead of you. Make sure that the road’s clear. It wouldn’t be fun to hit a bump or pothole. You could end up airborne. Not good.

8. Don’t try any stunts.

Keep your hands on the handlebars.  Make sure that you keep control of your bike. Steering is important.

9. Bring H20.

Make sure to stay hydrated by bringing water with you for your ride, especially if the temperature is going to be hot or humid—does that sound like a city you know?

Biking to work can save you money, help the environment, and help you stay fit. Even if you don’t bike to work every single day, planning to bike a few times a week is good for you. But remember—safety first.

Got insurance questions? Want a free quote? Our agents can help. Give us a call today—we’re at your service.